Epidemiologic considerations are similar to those of Crohn's disease; the disease is more prevalent in the United States and northern Europe, and peak incidence occurs in the second and the third decades of life. The incidence of ulcerative colitis is about 10 cases per 100,000 and, like the incidence of Crohn's disease, appears to have risen in the last few years.1 Approximately 250,000 in the United States are afflicted with ulcerative colitis. There is a slight predominance of men among patients with the disease. First-degree relatives of patients with ulcerative colitis have a 15-fold risk of developing ulcerative colitis and a 3.5-fold risk of developing Crohn's disease.

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